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Columbia Men's Tennis Loses to Miami in NCAA 1st Rd.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Courtesy of Columbia Sports Information/Media Relations

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Despite fighting through a wicked heat and winning the first doubles match of the day, the Columbia University men's tennis team saw its season come to a close on Friday afternoon with a 4-0 loss to Miami (Fla.).

Junior Jon Wong and first-year Haig Schneiderman picked up the Lions' lone victory of the day with an 8-1 win at No. 2 doubles. Junior Mihai Nichifor led his match at No. 3 singles, 6-2, 5-4, and was serving for the match when the match was clinched.

"I was happy with the way Wong and Schneiderman played at second doubles," the Columbia Tennis Alumni and Friends Head Coach Bid Goswami says. "If we could have somehow picked up the doubles point, we could have stayed in it. People would have gotten fired up and it would have carried over to singles, but it wasn't to be."
The match began with doubles, and Wong and Schneiderman were the first off the courts in just 30 minutes. Senior Bogdan Borta and Nichifor were on serve at No. 2 before the duo from Miami broke to go up 3-2. The Hurricanes would go on to win five of the next six points to take the win and even the doubles competition. After being down early, senior co-captain Dan Urban and first-year Rajeev Deb-Sen battled back to get within 6-4 but could get no closer.

In singles, first-year Ekin Sezgen, Nichifor and Borta all broke to begin at Nos. 2,3 and 4. Borta was up 4-1 in the opening set before tweaking his back and dropping the next five games. The first team All-Ivy member was forced to retire shortly after dropping the set.

Sezgen went up 2-0 in the first before Miami's No. 4 player, Keith Crowly, battled back to win the first 6-3. He would go on to give the Hurricanes a 3-0 lead with a 6-3, 6-1 win. Deb-Sen also battled back from a set and break down in the second to knot the score at 4-4, but ultimately fell 6-4 as Miami clinched the match.

Junior Jon Wong battled the #13 player in the country, Daniel Vallverdu, at the top singles spot. Wong hung tough, and was tied 3-3 in the second when the match was stopped. Nichifor looked poised to give the Lions their first point in NCAA play since the 1990s but was unable to serve out his match.

Miami (Fla.) 4, Columbia 0
No. 1 (38) Vallverdu/Rosenfeld (MIA) def. Borta/Nichifor (COL), 8-3
No. 2 Wong/Schneiderman (COL) def. Simon/Blocker (MIA), 8-1
No. 3 Sundberg/Crowley (MIA) def. Urban/Deb-Sen (COL), 8-4*
Order of finish: Doubles -- 2, 1, 3*

No. 1 Vallverdu (MIA) vs. Jon Wong (COL), 6-3, 3-3, DNF
No. 2 Rosenfeld (MIA) def. Bogdan Borta (COL) 6-4, ret.
No. 3 Mihai Nichifor (COL) vs. Sundberg (MIA), 6-2, 5-4, DNF
No. 4 Crowly (MIA) def. Ekin Sezgen (COL), 6-3, 6-1
No. 5 Blocker (MIA) vs. Haig Schneiderman (COL), 6-4, 5-2, DNF
No. 6 Taboada (MIA) def. Rajeev Deb-Sen (COL), 6-1, 6-4*
Order of finish: Singles -- 2, 4, 6*